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Being told your parenting choices are selfish? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post


My Mom used to give me parenting advice. 


In THIS, I was extremely fortunate. While she'd occasionally pass along thoughts, ideas, pointers, my Mom's parenting advice was overwhelmingly: "No one knows you child better than you do. And you will make the right choices for your child." And... I have. ;)

post #22 of 50

Anyone can make anything in to be selfish. Those people who feel the need to tell others how to parent are the selfish ones. It is not you at all.

 

To give an example, when my 1 yr old was still in a car seat, I got called selfish. I was told (by my lovely mother) that I was "infantacizing" a term she coined to mean that I was fantacising about my 1 yr old still being a baby by still having her in a car seat. So as you can see, just because someone calls you selfish, does not mean they are using any sort of good judgement. They are just being the selfish ones because they are trying to get something for themselves. Oh, and my MIL called me selfish for breastfeeding my newborn because she wanted to feed him herself, with bottles. 

post #23 of 50

Projection is an amazing thing.

post #24 of 50

The good thing about AP? It's backed up by TONS of scientific studies. So if you feel constitutionally unable to let such comments slide (like me!), you could try repeating a formula like this:

 

"Are you aware that my choices are backed up by scientific studies? Are you familiar with any studies in this area? No? Well, I consider [X aspect of parenting] to be too important to be decided by personal opinion. When you've done some research on studies from both sides of the question, if you feel the scientific evidence is clearly on your side, feel free to send me some links. Until then, let's not discuss this."

 

If they challenge you on the studies, you don't even need to get into it (you can, of course, but if you don't trust your memory for statistics or journals, it might be simpler not to). You can just say "Studies that are freely available online for anyone who wants to look them up; you can find them if you're interested".

 

The chances of anyone actually bothering to look them up is slim; but if you lather, rinse and repeat every time they question a choice, it might remind them that they have a potential line of argument to sway you, that you won't accept any others, and that you're probably way better armed than they will ever bother to be. Of course, you may have to clarify "study" a few times. My mother-in-law, for several months, would send me all the anti-cosleeping articles our local newspaper produced. They were invariably scare pieces triggered by a drunk drug-using mother rolling on her baby while they slept on a couch, or some other this-is-not-a-cosleeping-issue tragedy, and would fail to engage with ANY of the good research on the subject. We pretty much ignored her and she eventually stopped - with another person I might have discussed the ways in which the articles were flawed, but it wasn't worth it with MIL; she doesn't really do critical thought, so much. So, pick your battles and all that...

post #25 of 50

Other mamas said what I would have:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

All mothers are judged, regardless of what they do.  If you made more mainstream choices, you'd still get judged.  I'm afraid the only thing to do is to ignore it, because it wont stop.  Sadly.  I don't know why we mothers (not anyone specifically but as a whole) do this to each other.

 

As a new mom, I have noticed this. EVERYONE has an opinion on what I should be doing. Sometimes I smile and nod, other times I am super annoyed and it shows. Do what you think is best, at all times. Don't let others dissuade you from your instincts.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

I think most of the criticisms you mentioned are about justifications for the personal choices of others. Your choices threaten their choices.

I do think that it is a little different from the grandma who wants to be needed, ie let me have the baby overnight at three weeks/ why are you always holding them/ and my favorite " if she must be breastfeed it us selfish or you to not ump lots of bottles so I can feed her. "


YES, THIS!!! You are not so much "selfish" as making choices that make others questions theirs. They are free to feel however they are feeling, but that does not mean their criticisms of you and your actions are valid.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

I totally admit to being a selfish parent.  Extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, child-led weaning, home schooling, etc. were all chosen in part because it made my life as a mom easier.  And anything that made my life easier was preferred.  But I mean easier in the long run.  Giving into temper tantrums or wants that are not in the child's (or the family's) best interests did not make my life as a mother easier.  On the contrary, it made my life harder in the long run.  So I always kept the long term goal in mind.

 

Really? I think many of these things make my life so much harder and complicated- not because they are that way in and of themselves- but because we live in a country that is decidedly anti-family and does not support these positive choices.
 

 



 


 



 

post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillitu View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

I totally admit to being a selfish parent.  Extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, child-led weaning, home schooling, etc. were all chosen in part because it made my life as a mom easier.  And anything that made my life easier was preferred.  But I mean easier in the long run.  Giving into temper tantrums or wants that are not in the child's (or the family's) best interests did not make my life as a mother easier.  On the contrary, it made my life harder in the long run.  So I always kept the long term goal in mind.

 

Really? I think many of these things make my life so much harder and complicated- not because they are that way in and of themselves- but because we live in a country that is decidedly anti-family and does not support these positive choices.
 
 


I actually agree with sewchris...the various techniques of attachment parenting have made my life easier in so many ways.  Whether other people care if I extended breastfed, co-slept, etc. matters little to me.  In addition, I don't think that being against something like co-sleeping is indicative of being "anti-family."   Is it a positive choice?  Yes, I believe so and it works for me.  It works for me because it has allowed me to connect to my child in a way that I would not have otherwise, and it allowed me much more sleep when DD was a babe. These sorts of things have helped me maintain my physical and emotional sanity. I don't really care if other people do it or not, but I will tell people, if asked, why it is positive for me. 

 

 I actually think that awareness of these practices has increased hugely over the last ten years or so, and while old-timers and extreme nay-sayers may still be out there meddling with their 'advice,' I've personally seen a lot of positive movement.  Maybe it is just my personality, but until someone has the authority to come into my house and take over the rearing of my children, then whatever negative thing they say about my parenting practices is taken with a grain of salt. 
 

post #27 of 50

I don't think what you're doing is selfish.  But even if I did, I would defend your right to be selfish.  As long as your child and your family is healthy, you need to do what works for you and what makes you happy.  The last thing moms need is more guilt.

post #28 of 50
Thread Starter 

All great advice...

I do think these AP choices will make my life easier in the long run and will help me to raise children into adults that hopefully have a love for learning and are motivated to achieve their goals... but also adults who are compassionate / loving. I want them to be healthy, emotionally and otherwise.


When it comes to the scientific studies... it apparently really doesn't matter. My mom is sending me news on "co-sleeping deaths" which were not really co-sleeping situations, but other kinds (one, an exhausted uncle falling asleep with his 6 month old niece.. and a two, guy who says he rolled on his 14 month old but was arrested for severe child abuse of another kid 3 years ago. Really sad.;(  ) I have shared with her all of what I have learned but I feel like she is just ignoring me even though she seems to listen at the time. I thought she might just be in denial that anything she did with us might not have been that great for us (CIO, etc.), yet she accepts that the new research tells moms to put babies to sleep on their backs... since they told her to put us to sleep on our tummies.

 

My Mil argues vaccines with me by citing law and order episodes and incorrect info that she "knows to be true" about vaccines. She doesn't even believe vaccines work. She thinks you just can get all the diseases, but milder. She also doesn't believe you can become immune to a disease after having it naturally, I don't think. I could have a PhD in immunology and she would still say "No no no" when I talk. She also told me I fed my baby too much and needed to stick a pacifier in her mouth because feeding her every hour was too much and she must not really want it (back in the beginning.) I informed her that could interfere with my milk supply coming in strong and that I was worried about that. She didn't believe me I guess. Her supply dried up when her babies were 3 months, so I don't know why she wants to give me all this advice on it. ;(

 

Another experience today...

 

I was wearing DD all morning to help her stay calm because we were at this 4 hour doctors appt for DH.  I swayed back and forth a lot to help her sleep and took her outside briefly when she cried.  At the end of it, the receptionist called me over and said "You have been standing all day since 7:30!" She said this stuff in a teasing way, but it wasn't exactly... I just smiled and said "Yep! It is great for helping me lose weight." She said "Why don't you just sit down?"  Me: "She will cry and it keeps her happy when she is moving." Her: "Gee, I wouldn't think she'd even know the difference if you were standing or not" Me: "Oh, she knows." My DH came out and agreed with me on this. Her: "Oh, that baby's like- I'm the boss of this family!" DH sat down with DD and a few seconds later she did start getting fussy.

 

I don't know why it bugged me but it did a little. I felt really proud that I kept DD happy all morning like that and helped her sleep. If I hadn't done what I did there I would have had a very unhappy hysterically crying baby all morning who needed help going to sleep. I think this lady just thought I was catering way to much to my child or that she was manipulating me somehow.

post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

All mothers are judged, regardless of what they do.  If you made more mainstream choices, you'd still get judged.  I'm afraid the only thing to do is to ignore it, because it wont stop.  Sadly.  I don't know why we mothers (not anyone specifically but as a whole) do this to each other. 



This... but it gets much better over time. In my experience: When they are 3yo there is no more discussions about cloth diapers, co-sleeping, bf.... either your child is no longer in that place, or if he/she is, the people around you have gotten tired of trying to change you and give up - and often even see how wonderful your DS/DD is and gently come around to a different p.o.v. It also gets better after the second child, I think because you just don't give a hoot anymore what others think. You are confident in your decisions, so the b.s. just rolls off your back. The people close to you have accepted that that is how you do things, or have at least accepted that you have different views. And the random acquaintances and strangers you don't give diddly-squat about their opinion anyway!

post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliope84 View Post

 

I was wearing DD all morning to help her stay calm because we were at this 4 hour doctors appt for DH.  I swayed back and forth a lot to help her sleep and took her outside briefly when she cried.  At the end of it, the receptionist called me over and said "You have been standing all day since 7:30!" She said this stuff in a teasing way, but it wasn't exactly... I just smiled and said "Yep! It is great for helping me lose weight." She said "Why don't you just sit down?"  Me: "She will cry and it keeps her happy when she is moving." Her: "Gee, I wouldn't think she'd even know the difference if you were standing or not" Me: "Oh, she knows." My DH came out and agreed with me on this. Her: "Oh, that baby's like- I'm the boss of this family!" DH sat down with DD and a few seconds later she did start getting fussy.

 

 

 This would bug me, too... but the reason it would bug me is that if you let her scream and fuss all morning long, you'd be getting stares and comments about not keeping your baby happy.  I really just think that people want to have something to say about it... take it with a grain of salt as much as possible

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliope84 View Post

 

I was wearing DD all morning to help her stay calm because we were at this 4 hour doctors appt for DH.  I swayed back and forth a lot to help her sleep and took her outside briefly when she cried.  At the end of it, the receptionist called me over and said "You have been standing all day since 7:30!" She said this stuff in a teasing way, but it wasn't exactly... I just smiled and said "Yep! It is great for helping me lose weight." She said "Why don't you just sit down?"  Me: "She will cry and it keeps her happy when she is moving." Her: "Gee, I wouldn't think she'd even know the difference if you were standing or not" Me: "Oh, she knows." My DH came out and agreed with me on this. Her: "Oh, that baby's like- I'm the boss of this family!" DH sat down with DD and a few seconds later she did start getting fussy.

 

 

 This would bug me, too... but the reason it would bug me is that if you let her scream and fuss all morning long, you'd be getting stares and comments about not keeping your baby happy.  I really just think that people want to have something to say about it... take it with a grain of salt as much as possible


Exactly what I was going to say -- you really can't win, someone will complain or tease or whatever, no matter what you do. That's why you just need to let it all roll off you. I've had some sad moments & tough comments (my best friend's mom asking me not to nurse on her couch, the lady at a store saying my DS looked horribly uncomfortable in the wrap, etc.) and both my inlaws & my parents think I'm nuts for making the parenting choices I've made. But what we are doing is really working for us, and my now-2yo DS is just becoming such an amazing person -- maybe because of me, maybe in spite of me! I'm doing the best I can, making well-informed & carefully-researched, instinct-driven decisions, and I can't be bothered with the little comments everyone seems to make. You will gain more confidence as your baby grows... in the beginning, I think the comments bothered me because I wasn't yet confident enough in my ability to parent. I had a high-needs kiddo & often questioned whether I was doing something wrong to 'make' him that way. But like I said, as time goes on, you gain confidence, you see how well things are working (or not working, and then you change them!) and you realize how incredibly resilient & adaptable kids can be, but most of all, you see the person your kid is starting to become, and you realize you can do this, you ARE doing this, and what anyone else thinks no longer matters.
post #32 of 50


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillitu View Post

Other mamas said what I would have:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

All mothers are judged, regardless of what they do.  If you made more mainstream choices, you'd still get judged.  I'm afraid the only thing to do is to ignore it, because it wont stop.  Sadly.  I don't know why we mothers (not anyone specifically but as a whole) do this to each other.

 

As a new mom, I have noticed this. EVERYONE has an opinion on what I should be doing. Sometimes I smile and nod, other times I am super annoyed and it shows. Do what you think is best, at all times. Don't let others dissuade you from your instincts.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

I think most of the criticisms you mentioned are about justifications for the personal choices of others. Your choices threaten their choices.

I do think that it is a little different from the grandma who wants to be needed, ie let me have the baby overnight at three weeks/ why are you always holding them/ and my favorite " if she must be breastfeed it us selfish or you to not ump lots of bottles so I can feed her. "


YES, THIS!!! You are not so much "selfish" as making choices that make others questions theirs. They are free to feel however they are feeling, but that does not mean their criticisms of you and your actions are valid.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

I totally admit to being a selfish parent.  Extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, child-led weaning, home schooling, etc. were all chosen in part because it made my life as a mom easier.  And anything that made my life easier was preferred.  But I mean easier in the long run.  Giving into temper tantrums or wants that are not in the child's (or the family's) best interests did not make my life as a mother easier.  On the contrary, it made my life harder in the long run.  So I always kept the long term goal in mind.

 

Really? I think many of these things make my life so much harder and complicated- not because they are that way in and of themselves- but because we live in a country that is decidedly anti-family and does not support these positive choices.
 

 



 


 



 

Not sure where you live.  I am fortunate to live in San Diego, CA.  However, I wouldn't have cared what the neighbors thought about any of that.  We did/do what is best for our family.  I co-slept for 4 years with Dylan (over 2 in our bed and the rest on his own mattress in our room; a combination of his needs and the number of bedrooms we had at the time).  Erica was in a bassinet in our room until she out grew it around 4 months; went to a crib in Joy's room at that point.  That is what she wanted/needed.  She hated co--sleeping. It was easier for me to "give in" to Erica on her need to sleep alone and easier to "give in" to Dylan to not sleep alone.   As far as the older generation's advice goes, remember that parenting/child raising advice has dramaticlly changed in the last 30 + years.  Car seats weren't even manditory until Angela was 4 in CA and we were one of the first states to make it legal.  I'm not sure I would have been so accepting of Joy's and Erica's parenting decisions if I hadn't had Dylan when Joy was 20.  I wouldn't have known about all the new developments and studies.  And if they hadn't been gentle in explaining them to me, I wouldn't have been so understanding about their decisions.  Communication goes both ways.  "A gentle answer turns away wrath".
 

post #33 of 50

It really sounds like you just need to feel good about what you are doing and not sweat peoples' comments.  It is harder to do with family, but the receptionist really is one of those people you just have to hope the best of intentions from her comments and smile to yourself and say in your own head - she doesn't know what she's talking about!

 

For family - well, I think you don't feel supported by what they are saying and you could express this.  Also, perhaps you need to learn a new way of speaking more assertively.  I had to turn down offers for overnight babysitting a number of times in the beginning, and then I just made it clear that we would not be doing that for a while and we would let them know when we were interested.  Sometimes they offer because THEY would have liked the break and think you'd like it.  Or maybe they had more than one child - it IS different when you have more and you may feel more ready for a break when they are younger.  They probably didn't have longer term BFing relationships, so they don't KNOW how it works and they just don't get that it isn't that hard to have a little baby with (they picture the bottles and stuff they had to lug around). 

 

Be confident and happy with your choices and you will be surprised how little fighting you get about them.

 

Tjej

post #34 of 50

To me to call someone "selfish" is a judgment call.

 

I am working very hard at becoming a better woman every day then I was the day before. One of the goals I have set for myself is to be less judgmental of other peoples choices. I am also working on not allowing other peoples judgments to affect me. We each need the freedom to make the choices that are right for our families without judgment. Live and let live. I hope to teach my daughter to do the same.

post #35 of 50
Thread Starter 

This is just too much.

My mother asked me if we have mental health coverage today because she thought I'd been acting "weird" since I gave birth and my sister agrees!!!

I guess I am acting weird. My life has been forever changed by this amazing little person ;) I am being very assertive about my choices and I am not giving in to things that don't line up with how I want to parent. They apparently think these choices are weird so there must be something wrong with me...lol

 

Ahh.

 

Well, I love all the replies to this. I didn't mention that at the same place the receptionist said that I also breastfed. I was trying to cover us up a bit, but the baby was sweating and I was sweating so I just said screw it. I had my boob pulled out the top of my shirt and the baby was latched on. This was the first time I didn't feel awkward about breastfeeding in public. In fact, I was carrying on a conversation the whole time with an older woman who was telling me how she also breastfed. This was in a waiting room full of people.

 

I never see anyone breastfeeding around here, but I am proud that I breastfeed and I know it is a normal, healthy thing to be doing with my baby. I also feel like if I breastfeed in public maybe it will normalize it a bit or give another mama the idea that she can do it easily, too. So... yes... feeling confident and comfortable breastfeeding in public is a great new thing for me. ;)

post #36 of 50

I would tell mom her mental health comment was extremely rude. I would tell her and sis if it bothers them so much you will be happy to have less contact with them,because THEIR behavior is starting to concern you. I bfed my kids till they were 3.I used slings and did the family bed. They are now 12 and 8 and quite normal lol despite my AP ways!

post #37 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I would tell mom her mental health comment was extremely rude. I would tell her and sis if it bothers them so much you will be happy to have less contact with them,because THEIR behavior is starting to concern you. I bfed my kids till they were 3.I used slings and did the family bed. They are now 12 and 8 and quite normal lol despite my AP ways!


It is weird... the more extreme comments I get about AP style parenting, the more extreme I feel. When someone makes a comment that anyone who breastfeeds past 12 months is just doing it for herself, it makes me want to breastfeed for 3 years. There are so many people out there who apparently believe in the "detached" method of parenting and have issues with things that have been natural for humans for thousands of years... I want to practice attachment parenting with gusto and show other people a different model for parenting that maybe they hadn't though of.

 

I don't think I care any more what people say. My baby seems to feel really loved and she went from crying all the time to starting out with little noises to let me know she is ready to be moved / fed/ picked up / whatever. She trusts me to come take care of her and it means a lot to me that she continues to know I am someone that loves her and that she can count on. People act like children are just little things they own instead of actual little people who deserve to be treated well and their needs taken seriously. I feel honored to be able to help my child get used to being here in the world and hopefully I can help her navigate her way as she grows.
 

post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliope84 View Post

This is just too much.

My mother asked me if we have mental health coverage today because she thought I'd been acting "weird" since I gave birth and my sister agrees!!!

I guess I am acting weird. My life has been forever changed by this amazing little person ;) I am being very assertive about my choices and I am not giving in to things that don't line up with how I want to parent. They apparently think these choices are weird so there must be something wrong with me...lol

 

Ahh.

 



Your family sounds very toxic to me. If I were in your case I hope I would have the strength to put as much distance between myself their negativity. I know this can be very hard to do. My family was initially negative about my parenting choices but they have come around over the years for for the most part. I have also learnt how to be more assertive and have told them to butt out of my parenting several times 

post #39 of 50

I know it's hard, but don't let it get to you.  Your family is happy, healthy and it's no one elses decision but yours about how you raise your family!  Keep up the god work...and try to ignore them!

post #40 of 50


That is not my experience. My oldest is 16. I get slack for everything still..from how I educate them to if they should be dating (certain people feel that my children NEED girlfriends and boyfriends and the only reason they don't have them is because of me, and they have been saying this since my oldest reached 13) to that they should each have their own car when they turn 16. Oh, and apparently, they don't like how my daughter dresses. They feel she should wear more "trendy" (boob and bottom showing) clothes. My daughter has no desire to show off her parts. I apparently am raising them in the wrong religion and they are considering the wrong colleges.

 

At this point, while it has not stopped, it just has become humorous. Irritating, but humorous at times.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

All mothers are judged, regardless of what they do.  If you made more mainstream choices, you'd still get judged.  I'm afraid the only thing to do is to ignore it, because it wont stop.  Sadly.  I don't know why we mothers (not anyone specifically but as a whole) do this to each other. 



This... but it gets much better over time. In my experience: When they are 3yo there is no more discussions about cloth diapers, co-sleeping, bf.... either your child is no longer in that place, or if he/she is, the people around you have gotten tired of trying to change you and give up - and often even see how wonderful your DS/DD is and gently come around to a different p.o.v. It also gets better after the second child, I think because you just don't give a hoot anymore what others think. You are confident in your decisions, so the b.s. just rolls off your back. The people close to you have accepted that that is how you do things, or have at least accepted that you have different views. And the random acquaintances and strangers you don't give diddly-squat about their opinion anyway!

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